Seedlings are defined as baby plants that come out of seed as a result of seed germination. It primarily consists of three parts.
Seedlings are sensitive baby plants. They need suitable soil & water pH, minerals, light, and temperature to grow smoothly.
The best water for seedlings is rainwater. Rainwater is nutritious because it contains small amounts of minerals and is slightly acidic, with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0. At this pH the water causes the minerals in the soil to liberate more easily compared to other types of water.
Water can be applied by sprinkling or bottom watering during early mornings or late evenings.
Water is the most important biological factor affecting seedling’s proper growth and development. A little compromise on water may harm your seedling, and it may die before getting mature.
In this article, I will explain the types of water one can use for seedlings and which one produces the best results, as well as the things to look out for when watering seedlings.
Types of Water To Use For Seedlings:
Different types of water are available for feeding seedlings. Some of them are really beneficial to the seedling, while some varieties of water may harm your seedlings.
Below, we have discussed a few types of water to give you a thorough understanding of them.
- People use tap water or city water for their daily use. People use it for drinking, washing, cooking, etc.
- Most people use tap water for gardening purposes to water their plants because it contains certain salts, which aid in building the soil and compensating for the mineral deficiency.
- Tap water is loaded with fluoride, chlorine, salts, and a few other mineral additives.
- Some plants can grow well-using tap water, but few are not able to show their maximum efficiency.
- The water which is obtained from rain is called rainwater.
- Many gardeners use rainwater for gardening purposes because of its excessive benefits on plants as well as seedlings.
- It is a perfect choice for most gardeners because it aids in washing away the excess salts from lawns and helps minimize the water bills.
- Many gardeners store rainwater for feeding either plants or seedlings, or even both.
- Rain water has a pH of 6.5 to 7.0 which works great in liberating minerals from the soil for plants to use.
- Distilled water is also known as dead water as it is free from impurities and deadly bacteria.
- The steam which is obtained by boiling water is cooled down to get it in the liquid state. The water thus obtained is called distilled water and is known as the purest form of water.
- Distilled water is free from all impurities, impurities as bacteria, pesticides, etc.
- Moreover, it also removes 99.9 percent of minerals that are dissolved in water.
- It is widely used in gardening to prevent toxicity levels in the soil.
- Additionally, it is also considered one of the best water for the bigger and healthier growth of seedlings.
- The water which is obtained after heating is called boiled water.
- Boiled water is free of impurities because, in the process of boiling, the impurities evaporate.
- Gardeners prefer using boiled water on plants because it helps get rid of many harmful weeds around plants.
Noted: Keep in mind to cool the boiled water a little bit before using it.
Using Well water on seedlings is an affordable option to provide nutrient-rich water containing minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the pH range between 6.5 and 8.0.
However, Well water should first be tested to ensure that it does not contain biological or chemical contaminants that can affect the growth of plants. This is because it can cause heavy metals and other unwanted contaminants.
Well water is considered beneficial to plants as long it is treated and cleaned from harmful chemicals.
When applying water to my plants, I use a cost-effective and durable watering can I got on amazon which makes watering fun and easy without making a mess. You can find it by clicking here.
Can I Use Tap Water For Seedlings?
As mentioned earlier, seedlings are susceptible to the water we give them. So it is better to provide them with more attention than usual. Tap water or city water is loaded with minerals like fluoride, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc. Such minerals, if present in bulk quantities, can harm your seedlings as well as established plants significantly.
A seedling needs nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium to grow properly – in a moderate amount, of course.
A moderate amount of tap water is not bad for seedlings and does not cause any damage to them. However, keep in mind that you have to stop feeding the plant with tap water when the seedling turns into a young plant.
Should I Water Seedlings With Distilled Water?
According to the water quality association, distilled water can be used for watering seedlings. Distilled water can be used for seedlings that are sensitive to different chemicals and minerals.
Some seedlings also exist, which cannot bear the additives and minerals like chlorine and fluoride. So for such seedlings, distilled water is best to use.
Because it is the purest form of water, free from harmful impurities and chemicals, such plants which do not like minerals are called air plants.
According to research, the seedlings treated with distilled water later grow well with healthy and more leaves. So we can easily conclude that distilled water is a good choice for sensitive seedlings.
Can You Use Rainwater For Seedlings?
Rainwater can be used for watering seedlings. It’s naturally soft water and helps wash away the excessive minerals present in the soil.
Moreover, it also helps in cleaning the stomata that are present on the leaves. Which then regulates the intake of nutrients and carbon dioxide for the photosynthesis process.
Furthermore, it contains more oxygen than tap water. Hence oxygen is needed by plants during nighttime to undergo cellular respiration.
Have you ever noticed that many of the seedlings become visible and grow fast when it rains? Rain provides the seedling with the minerals they need from the medium they are being grown in. It greatly boosts the growth of the seedlings.
Additionally, by \watering your seedling with rainwater, you can enhance its growth naturally by utilizing what the soil has to offer.
Can You Add Nutrients/Fertilizer When Watering Seedlings?
Yes, you can add nutrients or fertilizers to the watering seedlings, but they must be diluted at the right time. So are you confused about what is the right time to feed the seedlings with nutrients or fertilizers?
When you notice that your seedling has got its first three to four sets of true leaves, you can provide them with suitable nutrients or fertilizers according to their needs, which is once or maximum twice a week.
You can feed seedlings with fertilizers that contain a minute quantity of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, nitrogen, sulfur, potassium. All of these nutrients are needed for the better growth of seedlings.
How Much Water Do Seedlings Need?
A seedling needs water often. It is not recommended to water the seedling twice or thrice a day.
According to a study, the seedling must not stay wet. But instead, it should be moist. It is enough to water the seedlings once a day.
If the temperature is too hot and the seedling does not stay moist with one round, you can add water again using a water spray to keep it moist.
Make sure that the soil is just moist, not wet. For this purpose, you can dip your fingers in the soil and check the moisture.
Bottom Watering Seedlings
Bottom watering seedlings promote strong and healthy plant growth by allowing the entire root system to access the applied water that has been distributed evenly within the soil.
The other benefit of bottom watering seedlings is that it prevents overwatering and the pests and diseases that come with it.
Seedlings when watered from the bottom can be a tricky task, but it is well worth the effort. Seedlings need water to grow, and if they are not watered correctly they can eventually die.
Bottom watering is the process of irrigating plants and seedlings from the base of the plant. Bottom watering is an easy and affordable way to grow plants because the water can be directly applied to plants with little waste.
See the entire article on how to bottom water seedlings.
Best water for seedling summary:
- Different types of water (distilled, rainwater, etc.) can be used for seedlings’ growth and health.
- Tap water isn’t necessarily the best choice for seedlings’ developments.
- Distilled or bottled water is considered more ideal for seedlings compared to tap water.
- Rainwater is considered one of the best water for growing seedlings.
- Avoid watering too frequently as it may end up harming your seedlings.
- You can add nutrients/fertilizers to water those seedlings that have at least three to four sets of true leaves.
- The quality, quantity, and frequency of the watering is probably the most significant consideration in taking care of seedlings.